Hotels, Restaurants, Outfitters, Retail and More Open with Heightened Health & Safety Protocols in the iconic Rocky Mountain Destination
Vail, Colorado – June, 9, 2020 – Vail welcomes visitors to rediscover the adventures that await in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains this summer as the destination begins re-opening to summer travelers. Nestled at the foot of Vail Mountain, just two hours west of Denver, Vail’s fresh air, rugged beauty and charming pedestrian villages promise to inspire. Public health guidelines allow for lodging, recreation, restaurants and bars to serve the public with appropriate social distancing and safety protocols.
Several of Vail’s more than 35 hotel and condominium properties are taking reservations including well-known options like The Sonnenalp, The Sebastian-Vail and Manor Vail Lodge with more set to open throughout the month of June. Some properties are developing special rates to encourage extended visits, such as Antler’s at Vail’s special “Your Vail Home for the Summer” package, which starts at $3,500 for a studio suite for 30 nights of tax-free lodging June through October. At this stage in re-opening, lodging properties are operating at a maximum of 50 percent of occupancy and follow heightened health and safety guidelines. Pool and hot tub facilities also are open with occupancy limits, and fitness centers and gyms operating at limited capacity. Saunas, spas and steam rooms remain closed for the time being.
Vail restaurants and bars such as Sweet Basil, Mountain Standard, La Tour, Root & Flower and Terra Bistro also are welcoming guests back for dine-in service with indoor seating limited to 50 percent capacity and tables spaced for appropriate social distancing. Heightened health and safety protocols for restaurants include required facemasks for servers, table service at all bars and a ban on counter seating.
With the reopening, visitors also can enjoy even more opportunities to drink and dine al fresco in Vail this summer, as several restaurants have added tables throughout the pedestrian villages to allow for more open-air seating. Additionally, visitors are able to enjoy alcoholic beverages in designated outdoor locations throughout Vail.
Vail restaurants also continue to offer delivery and curbside pickup options for dining at home. Several restaurants have gotten creative with their take home options with restaurants such as Sweet Basil offering a “Finish at Home” menu, which allows for guests to have a meal delivered to their residence with instructions for final preparation, heating and serving.
Nested in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in the White River National Forest, Vail is a natural playground for outdoor pursuits. Hundreds of miles of river and recreational trails wind from one end of the valley to the other, allowing guests to get away from it all and explore. The valley’s expansive trail system offers nearly 300 miles of hiking trails that range from paved walking paths to backcountry trails that lead to mountain peaks, waterfalls, hidden lakes and more. Walking Mountain Science Center offers various themed backcountry hikes throughout the summer and fall showcasing Vail’s beauty. For a unique hiking experience, Paragon Guides offers a “Take a Llama to Lunch” program that entertains and guides hikers through the backcountry.
For those who opt to explore on two wheels there are more than 340 miles of mountain biking trails and nearly 300 miles of road biking options in the area. Venture Sports is one of several local guides that take road bikers up to Vail Pass for a guided downhill experience on the paved trail into town. Vail Mountain is great for lift-served mountain biking, while West Vail offers classic aspen and alpine single-track trails.
Water sports abound in the area with more than 80 miles of river with whitewater ranging from Class I to Class V rapids that keep rafters and kayakers thrilled from start to finish. Sage Outdoor Adventures and other local guide companies can show off the best whitewater rafting or kayaking spots. Anglers will enjoy several blue ribbon and gold medal fly fishing streams. Gore Creek Fly Fisherman and Sage Outdoor Adventures can take beginners and experts on guided trips to the various streams and rivers in the area including the Gore Creek, Eagle River, Colorado River as well as lesser known backcountry locations.
Vail also offers motorized ways to experience the region with options for ATV and Jeep 4×4 tours through locally owned and operated Nova Guides that provides guests with access to the beauty of the backcountry while learning about the history of the region. The area’s heritage also is found through the many guest ranch experiences open to visitors this summer for horseback riding with Vail Stables, archery, campfire cookouts and even glamping at Piney River Ranch.
Area outfitters will operate this summer to help guests experience the countless adventures. Many of these options include natural social distancing and operators have enacted additional protocols to enhance safety such as offering more private tours and limiting the number of participants for activities. Guests are encouraged to contact individual outfitters to understand specific protocols for various guided outdoor pursuits.
Vail Golf Club is open and operating, providing golfers with manicured greens and stunning views of the Gore Range. When staying at select Vail hotels, guests also have access to down valley resort courses including Red Sky Golf Club and Sonnenalp Club. Guidelines this summer include single rider carts unless of the same group or household. Amenities such as scorecards, pencils, towels and tees currently are not available in carts. Flagsticks should not be touched or removed from holes.
Drop-in spots for kids such as skateparks and playgrounds also have reopened with social distancing rules.
Shopping & Museums
Although known for its outdoor pursuits, Vail also offers some great shopping options. From locally owned and operated boutiques like DUE Luca Bruno, Perch and Axel’s to nationally-known chains including Patagonia, North Face and Fjällräven, stores have reopened with social distancing requirements. Many stores are limiting the number of customers in each facility with several offering curbside pickup as well.
Museums and public facilities such as Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and the Colorado Snowsports Museum also are open with limited capacity. The Snowsports Museum is currently offering weekly reservation-required walking tours highlighting the history of the area and the Vail Art in Public Places program will resume weekly art walks beginning July 1. Both tours will operate at a limited capacity with social distancing protocols.
Vail Resorts has expressed its intent to open Vail Mountain for gondola rides and activities this summer, however, a final decision and announcement are not expected until June.
New Discover Vail Website
For additional information on summer activities and adventures in Vail, please visit the destination’s new website at DiscoverVail.com. The site provides detailed information on summer adventures, events, lodging and more.
Ease of Access
Vail is easily accessible just 100 miles west of Denver and 140 east of Grand Junction along the Interstate 70 corridor. The Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) also provides an alternative to flying into Denver International Airport. The state-of-the-art facility recently was renovated to provide guests with more seating and dining options that provide visitors with space for social distancing. The Eagle County Regional Airport provides daily, non-stop service on United from Denver to EGE throughout the summer with non-stop service from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW) to EGE daily mid-June to August on American. Please check with each carrier for updated dates and flight times.
Vail is located in Eagle County, Colorado. The region hopes to move to the next phase of reopening in late June, pending continued containment of COVID-19 in the region, continuation of health and safety protocols and approval by the State of Colorado. Businesses will continue to open throughout the coming weeks and the best resource for opening information, hours of operation, etc. is the Vail Daily’s new Open for Business section that was created as the most up-to-date resource for happening in Vail this summer. Visitors also are encouraged to contacted individual businesses directly for more details on heightened health and safety protocols.
Commitments of Containment
Sustainable social distancing protocols are critical to containing the spread of COVID-19. Locals and visitors are asked to abide by the destination’s five commitments of containment.
- Maintain six feet of social distance.
- Wear a mask in public.
- Get tested immediately if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Wash hands often.
- Stay at home when sick.
For more information on Eagle County’s health and safety orders and updated resources, please visit www.ecemergency.org.